Future Provision of Years 11 and 12 Education in Regional Tasmania (Minister’s Action Plan)
In October 2012, the Minister for Education and Skills released the discussion paper Future provision of Years 11 and 12 education in regional Tasmania.
The aim of the discussion paper was to canvass ways to improve access to Years 11 and 12 education in regional Tasmania. As part of the aim to increase educational levels in Tasmania, the Discussion Paper also looked at the issue of extending the school leaving age to 18.
The consultation process offered all members of the Tasmanian community the opportunity to discuss any issues associated with Years 11 and 12 in regional Tasmania, and provide feedback on what works well in their local community. It also provided the opportunity for suggestions to be made on how we can improve the delivery of Years 11 and 12 in regional Tasmania.
All responses have now been considered and analysed. While there was a diverse range of responses and feedback provided to the discussion paper, a number of consistent themes were presented.
In May 2013, the Minister for Education and Skills released an Action Plan entitled ‘Future provision of Years 11 and 12 education in regional Tasmania’. This plan sets out six actions which focus on a state-wide approach for the provision of further education and training in Tasmania.
Provide $900 000 for regional schools to partner with a senior secondary college to further extend the Years 11 and 12 curriculum to regional high schools – a ‘hub and spoke’ approach to the delivery of Year 11 and 12 educational services will be developed.
$900 thousand over four years will be available for regional partnerships in learning. Seed funding will be made available to regional communities to support educational partnerships between high schools and senior secondary colleges. Interested school communities will be invited to make a submission to the department to access this funding to help facilitate the implementation of these innovative educational partnerships. These partnerships will not only help to broaden curriculum provision in these areas, but also help improve regional retention and attainment.
This ‘hub and spoke’ approach will allow for the expertise and resources in both the high school and senior secondary college to be drawn upon to develop tailor made local solutions to service local need. In partnership with the local community, decisions can be made about the most appropriate educational provision within a community.
Expressions of Interest are currently being called for. For the first round applications close 1st November 2013.
For further information see Years 11 and 12 Regional School Partnership Funds.
Access to $2.3 million available in the School Transition Fund to enable regional high schools and their communities to express interest in developing facilities or other infrastructure that assists with the delivery of Years 11 and 12 in their local area.
The value a community places on education is a key factor in improving the engagement of our young people in education beyond year 10. The School Transition Fund will be made available to encourage a community driven, rather than ‘top down’ approach to improving Year 11 and 12 facilities and other infrastructure in the regions. An increased enrolment of students in Year 11 and 12 in regional high schools may also enhance the long term viability of these schools.
School Transition Fund information.
Provide $3.1 million over three years, as endorsed by the Skills Tasmania Board, for a VET E-learning strategy that that will form a major theme in the Department’s E-Strategy and support all working aged Tasmanians to access training, including those 15 to 19 year olds in regional Tasmania that seek a vocational education and training pathway.
Developing a world class eStrategy will allow students, especially those in regional areas, to engage fully with digital technologies to support their education and learning: Any Learner Anywhere Anytime. Tasmanian schools will be distinguished by their capacity to leverage contemporary technologies and innovative teaching practices to provide engaging anywhere-anytime learning.
This strategy will recognise the need to have a systemic framework and structure across all regions of the state, which will encourage, enable and support learning and teaching. The National Broadband network will provide the connectivity required to develop innovative and flexible approaches to educational delivery. The eStrategy will also recognise the need for all relevant educational service providers to network and collaborate to provide seamless educational provision. In the first instance it will focus on expanding participation and access for rural and regional learners, through targeted programs.
Through the establishment of a working group, including key stakeholders, investigate better transport and accommodation alternatives to match student need.
This working group, comprised of broad stakeholder representation, will address issues raised in the consultation in the areas of both transport and accommodation. Issues raised with regard to transport include the need for greater flexibility of timetables and services, the directness of bus routes, and connections with other transport services. Feedback from the consultation also indicated that some students only have access to a single bus in the morning and another in the evening, making the school day long and demanding. Transport options also appear to limit a student’s capacity to engage in extra-curricular school life such as sport and cultural activities. With regard to student accommodation, the working group will research and evaluate current accommodation provisions available close to senior secondary colleges across the state, drawing upon local models such as those in place at Newstead and Hellyer Colleges.
Develop a Communication Strategy that strengthens and informs students and parents’ knowledge and understanding about the educational options, provisions and requirements for Years 11 and 12.
The department will work with the education community to develop a suite of materials that will enable students, parents and carers to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of educational provision in the state and to provide information on how to better support learners to remain actively engaged in education and training.
A working group will be established, with representation from key stakeholders, to develop an explicit vision for the future and a state-wide plan to improve the retention of Years 11 and 12 students across Tasmania.
This state-wide plan will ensure that all staff working with students from birth into adulthood take responsibility for ensuring that students are engaged and inspired to be successful lifelong learners. The working group will draw upon the skills and expertise of the education community, including students, and the plan will be ready for implementation in 2014. This working group will also investigate the current provision that young people remain engaged in education and training until they turn 17 and the effectiveness of legislation, career development and pathway planning.
The first Communique (October 2013) for the Working Group can be accessed by using this link.
The second Communique (November 2013) for the Working Group can be accessed using this link.
Minister's Action Plan Action Six: Guiding Principles
Minister's Action Plan Action Six: Terms of Reference